Board of Advisors

Space Data has recruited the following individuals to serve on our Board of Advisors and to provide technical guidance.

Gary Barta is a consultant and former chief technology officer of Identifi, Inc. He is also chief technology officer for Magellan Systems, a division of Thales Navigation, Inc. In 1990, Magellan Systems became the first company to produce a handheld GPS receiver. Mr. Barta joined Magellan in the late 1980’s and has been responsible for their technology development. During this time, Magellan was the low-cost GPS leader and was the first company to deliver a consumer GPS receiver for less than $100. Prior to Magellan, Mr. Barta was a co-founder of Triquint Semiconductor and worked at Tektronix. Mr. Barta’s expertise is in the design of Radio Frequency (RF) circuitry for low-cost, high-volume products.

Bruce Bollermann was the chief engineer for the original Space Data Corporation from 1963 until his retirement in 1996. During this time, Mr. Bollermann was responsible for all technical and engineering aspects of the company’s products. Mr. Bollermann led the development of small unguided fixed-fin sounding rockets for NASA and U.S. Air Force customers, developed weather balloon instrumentation for the National Weather Service (NWS) and the U.S. Air Force, developed ground tracking antenna systems and developed large inertially guided suborbital and orbital launch vehicles. During his tenure, the company delivered approximately 30,000 radiosondes per year to the NWS in the late 1980s.

Tom Collopy was a flight dispatcher for Northwest Airlines until his retirement. Mr. Collopy has over 20 years of experience as a flight controller and dispatcher for major airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is an expert on FAA airspace regulations, safety and control.

Michael Exner served as system manager for the COSMIC Project as well as program manager for the GPS/MET Program for University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Mr. Exner formed American Mobile Satellite Corporation seeking FCC authorization to provide Mobile Satellite Systems (MSS) and founded Skylink Corporation with the goal of commercializing the world’s first MSS. He also founded Synergetics International, Inc. Mr. Exner was a project engineer for components of the Carrier Balloon Data Collection System, as well as the manager for the Safesonde meteorological radiosonde at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Don Rea is a consultant and former vice president of engineering at Magellan Systems. Prior to Magellan, Mr. Rea founded a high technology company which developed radio navigation equipment and controllers. Mr. Rea’s expertise lies in the area of designing low-cost, high-volume electronic devices.

Frank Schmidlin is a former meteorologist at the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility. He is widely acknowledged as the country’s leading expert on radiosondes and upper air meteorology, and he invented the modern meteorological rocket. Mr. Schmidlin is a member of the U.S. delegation to the World Meteorological Organization, which is the United Nations organization that oversees the world’s weather balloon launch network.